by Mike Hansen
Hail to the King, baby.
The best links I’ve come across in the last few days/weeks – bookmark and read at your leisure:
The Bonfire Agency has put its money where its mouth is, and created FanPan, an online consumer focus group for comics readers. Sounds interesting.
The ONLY Avengers film review you need to read.
Possibly the most important comic you can buy and/or download this year: STEAL BACK YOUR VOTE, from one of America’s best investigative journalists (whose work towers over the often-shoddy reporting of U.S. corporate media). Check it out.
Since I’ve been talking about bonus features, here’s something everyone should know about DVD bonus features. Mark Evanier shines a light on something rather messed up about multimillion-dollar movie studios.
On a related note, here’s a horror story of how Warner Bros treats the translators of Harry Potter novels around the world. They’re even not invited to the film premieres, even when their work is used for the films without credit or payment. Classy.
Would WB treat J.K. Rowling the way DC treated Alan Moore? (Or just their translators?)
Did you know that the first appearance of Batman has rarely been reprinted in its original form? Most “reprints” are actually an edited and REDRAWN version of the story – see this post for a dramatic comparison of a few panels. Ugh! (If you want to read the real deal, it seems that the Batman in the Forties trade paperback is the only recent reprint of the actual original.)
Nice interview with Matt Wagner on his final Zorro story arc – Wagner remains one of the best writers (and artists) in comics, and his Zorro work is one of the best things Dynamite’s ever published. I recommend it for, well, pretty much everyone.
Have you seen this adorable story of how Marvel created a deaf superhero to convince a child to wear his hearing aid? Big points to Marvel for this one.
In the wake of the Avengers movie’s success, Image publisher Eric Stephenson republished his essay on Jack Kirby.
Legendary Marvel writer/artist Jim Starlin (whose work was credited in the Avengers film) had to buy his own ticket. And didn’t get any money for the use of his work. Sigh.
A surprising profile/interview with Stan Lee (who, unlike former freelance Marvel writers and artists, gets $1 million a year for life from Marvel) actually got his take on creators’ rights. Here’s another interview with Lee along the same lines.
Here’s Chris Roberson’s full interview with the Comics Journal in the wake of his departure from DC.
The only place to read the REAL original Batman story?
The CEOs of Disney (which owns Marvel) and Time Warner (which owns DC) were each paid millions of dollars last year. I wonder how much the creators of the superheroes they own made.
This is old news at this point, but the comments thread of this piece on Before Watchmen at The Beat is well worth reading – lots of comics pros have things to say, including Toby Cypress, Stuart Moore, Ed Brubaker, and Kurt Busiek.
Former Marvel Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter has a lot to say about the “shared-universe” concept and a new business model for work-for-hire. Can it be done? I dunno, but it raises some interesting ideas. (This post is also the last of a series reacting to brilliant futurist Cory Doctorow (of BoingBoing, the best must-read website on the planet) and his ideas about using technology to share ideas and work. Obviously, I recommend them, too.)
A just-released German Donald Duck reprint accidentally misused the word “holocaust.” Oops.
An Iranian cartoonist was recently sentenced to 25 lashings for daring to draw a member of Iran’s parliament wearing a soccer jersey. Dear Iran: Go fuck yourselves.
A Swedish manga translator was put on a sex-offenders list and forced to lose his job and “manga expert” title for owning comics that were ruled “child pornography.” This, of course, does not do one damn thing to protect actual children from actual offenders. Good job, Sweden.
Steve Bennett has the most interesting take I’ve seen yet on the “gay people in comics” issue:
Why now? Because we’ve undoubtedly reached the tipping point where homosexuality has become so ubiquitous in American life if it’s absent in popular culture its noticeable. And as to why comics? Because comics are, hopefully, still a part of mainstream American popular culture, and to be that it was to reflect reality… even if there are people who reject it.
This ties in to something that drives me nuts about most movies and TV, which is the continuing near-absence of minorities besides “token” characters with race-based dialogue (“Aw, hell no!”). And, of course, there’s the Bechdel Test…
Okay, so WHY am I linking to things that criticize Marvel and DC while interviewing people who work for Marvel? Well, Continue reading